Red Bull team chief Christian Horner said his drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were “in the doghouse” and have been instructed to apologise to all staff following their crash in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
“They both recognise that they screwed up today and will be apologising to the team and to all members of the team,” said Horner, who was left speechless immediately after the pair crashed in the closing laps of Sunday’s chaotic race won by defending world champion Lewis Hamilton.
“We allow them to race and allow them to go wheel-to-wheel. We spoke to them in team meetings about giving each other space.
“This was the culmination of two guys taking things in their own hands, which shouldn’t have happened.
“There were probably three incidents between them through the race. They touched wheels and were told to calm it down.
“We don’t want to interfere with them going wheel-to-wheel. We are not apportioning blame one way or the other, but they are both to blame for this.
“Our intention is to continue to let them race, but they have to show respect and give space. They have been reminded that they are part of a team, they are highly-paid individuals with the team’s interest at heart.
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 29, 2018
“The message was delivered very clearly. They are both in the doghouse. They will apologise to all of the staff before Barcelona.”
Ricciardo and Verstappen were both later given an official reprimand for their collision.
The pair were called to see the stewards after the race and blamed equally for the incident. Both apologised, but they were handed official reprimands for their contributions to the collision.
Verstappen said he and Ricciardo had met and apologised. He said the crash was “unnecessary” but held no grudge against his Australian team-mate.
The 20-year-old Dutchman said: “It’s really disappointing for the team. We lost a lot of points today, unnecessarily.
“I don’t think we need to speak about whose fault it was because at the end of the day we are racing for a team. We are representing a lot of people and when this happens it is just not good for both of us.
“The tow was very strong so as soon as (Daniel) was in front I was catching up again and we were pretty similar speed. We were always very close to each other.”
Verstappen had no complaints about the hard but fair wheel-to-wheel racing that took place before the pair’s clash.
“Before that it was hard racing but fair, we gave each other space. We had this little brush with the wheels but I think in racing that can happen. What happened after that is not good,” he said.
This result is really disappointing for the team. It doesn’t matter who is to blame, it just shouldn’t have happened. So many people are working hard to improve our cars and they deserve an apology #AzerbaijanGP pic.twitter.com/yffvikdQxa
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) April 29, 2018
“This has happened before and you learn from it. We have to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s not only down to us, we speak to the team as well what we will do in the future. I don’t think letting us not race anymore is the way forwards but we will talk about it.”
“Daniel and I are okay with each other,” he said.
“As racing drivers you go through every inch and of course you are not happy when you collide to each other as team-mates but we are very fair to each other so we spoke immediately after the race.”
Championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who led from pole until the first set of tyre stops, dropped back to finish eighth after colliding with Max Verstappen, who was penalised 10 seconds for hitting the German.
Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton crossed the line fifth behind Verstappen but was promoted to fourth after the Dutchman’s penalty was applied.
More to follow…
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 15, 2018
More to follow…
The Red Bull driver was found to have failed to stay above the mandatory minimum time set by the FIA in the final two mini sectors of the lap in the second practice session.
As a result, Ricciardo was handed a three-place grid penalty and two penalty points.
Stewards said the penalty was lessened as Ricciardo had slowed to a degree, and no ‘danger was created’.
“The stewards reviewed the data and video and found that Ricciardo did in fact fail to stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU in the penultimate and final mini marshalling sectors,” read the report.
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) March 23, 2018
“The stewards also found that Ricciardo slowed by as much as 175km/h from his fast times at Turn 12 and was consistently and significantly slower in the final three turns, indicating that he was fully complying with the requirements of the International Sporting Code.
“However, he admitted an error in reading his dash and was slightly below the minimum time.”
Ricciardo, who did not finish in last year’s Melbourne race, cannot now start Sunday’s race any higher than sixth place.
No home driver has finished on the podium in the 33-year history of the Australian GP, although Ricciardo did climb the rostrum in second place in 2014 only to be disqualified for a fuel flow technicality on his Red Bull car.
Provided by AFP Sport